Primary Council 4 grid Miller for 4-3-15 news

Q&A attached as breakout under related content


Two candidates are running for Columbus City Council District 4. Frank Miller and Justin Hohn will face each other in the Republican primary.


Q: What types of business development would you like to see on property owned by Columbus Municipal Airport?

A: The key point here is not what I would like to see but what development is already permitted under the PUD and conditional-use businesses that could be vetted via zoning appeal with public input. I supported changes to the PUD, keeping some questionable uses conditional so neighbors could have input.

Q: What three improvements to city government would you like to see and why?

A: More focus on economic development, well-paying jobs, supporting small business by reducing regulations and hurdles. Better long-range planning, budgeting and potential solutions for lingering issues. Less tax dollars spent on consultants prior to local business, investor and government buy-in on projects; nearly $1.5 million has been spent since 2012 on such projects.

Q: What should the working relationship be between the city council and the mayor?

A: Cordial and with a working relationship that is collaborative within the checks-and-balance system set up by state code, which outline the functions and duties of the two bodies. This is a two-way street. Since taking office, I have worked tirelessly at a collaborative relationship between the two.

Q: Should city government provide money for the arts and nonprofit organizations? Explain why or why not.

A: The arts and nonprofits are interwoven in the fabric of what makes Columbus a great place to live. Support can and should be planned as a budgetary function. Mill Race Center, as an example, is a city-owned building and appropriate support would be to help protect the asset (the building).

Q:  Officials say the city needs an overpass at State Roads 46 and 11 to relieve traffic and railroad congestion, which could cost about $35 million. How would you fund it?

A: Obviously, this will take a multifaceted solution effort involving federal, state and local funding. Discussion with federal representatives would be a first step to see what funds and local match may be needed. I question whether an overpass is the only solution; there could be a less-expensive one for Columbus.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at or (812) 379-5639.